Rock Clubs Die… Live With It

When I first started playing music… well, not even when I first started. Ok. When I first started to play music in different states, you know, like really getting out of town to play, I got a show for my high school band at this place in Providence, Rhode Island called, The Living Room. If you knew this place I’m sure you’re not only laughing at who you were when you used to go there, in addition to smelling the unique scent of urine that that place stunk of.

Fuck, The Living Room was punk rock at it’s… like, peak of dwindling. Like, this was a time that the punk bands of Boston ala The Dropkick Murphys, Darkbuster, Big D… and many more were at the end of the peak of their underground fame. Yes, all would go on the have resurgenes that would rise even higher, but it felt like with Blink 182 and soon forthcoming “American Idiot,” by Green Day that punk rock was selling out. And, it was. So, The Living Room was a dying extension of a once viable and versatile subculture of America… or at least one that paid to get in on a pretty nightly basis.

When I played there it was only weeks after The Station Fire when 100+ lives were lost to faulty pyrotechnics by a shitty 80’s hair band I care not to mention. So, when my bassist and I went down to Providence to put up and pass out flyers, people were astounded that rock shows would even continue to happen. Kids at Brown, RISD and just normal shoppers and whatever all felt this way. So, it wasn’t surprising when the show was very very lightly attended. Actually, the only person that I remember really being there was my dad.

Sal. I think I can count the amount of times that he’s seen me play on 1 hand. But, maybe that isn’t true. Maybe that’s only true for like the past ten years. But, how un-punk rock is that that the only person at your show is your dad. Or, actually, is that the most punk rock?

Regardless, to play out of that full sound system was sick. I wonder how bad we actually sucked. Like, at what level of suck did we come in at. Only my dad is really to know… and I don’t trust his opinion on the matter either.

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After we loaded out… oh, fuck, oh yeh… Brendan was also there. Brendan S. He fuckn’ came to all of our shows. But, as I remember it, Brendan didn’t actually make it to the show because his car broke down. The motherfucker just upright didn’t change his oil… ever. So, his engine just stopped working on the off ramp of 95 South that heads west towards West Providence. So, after the show we assessed how fucked Brendan was and then drove him home. Brendan then just left his car in Providence… I think.

Rock clubs go and come. It sucks when they close and whatever, but sometimes you got to move on from places. Like, there is good energy and also bad energy that has been created in a place and specifically a rock club. In a lot of ways that energy; it sticks around. Sometimes you gotta just get away from that and start that energy over elsewhere, or put it elsewhere. Just think about how many people sang songs on that Living Room stage about heartbreak, lost ones, not knowing who you really are or even worse, knowing who you really are, but not feeling like it’s not safe to show it… Sometimes the best way to rewrite history is to do it somewhere else; somewhere new.

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